Scotland: Food poisoning feared at conference centre

Source of Article:

Published Date: 05 December 2008

By John Ross


A DOZEN business people have suspected food poisoning after a visit to a leading conference centre.

Nine ambulances and eight police cars were sent to Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre to collect the victims, who were isolated after the incident and required hospital treatment.

Six men and six women were taken to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, while some also showed signs of "blotchiness and swelling of the glands".

They had been eating at the AECC restaurant, used exclusively by business people, which was immediately closed while investigations were carried out by public health teams.

Those affected were believed to be part of a local company which had been using a meeting room at the venue.

A specialist fire officer who deals with hazardous substances was also at the site, with police officers on guard.

A spokesman for the AECC said those affected had been eating in the Gallery Restaurant when they became ill. The food was not available to the general public and had only been consumed by guests using some of the conference suites. No staff were affected.

He said: "Investigations are under way to determine what happened."

The spokesman said the restaurant kitchen was closed while those who had fallen ill were taken for treatment.

He added the incident would not affect last night's sell-out concert at the centre by the rock band Stereophonics.

"None of the public areas is affected, and all planned events are going ahead as scheduled," he said.

NHS Grampian confirmed the incident "may be food related".

Public health department staff, along with colleagues from the city council's environmental health department, were carrying out investigations at the conference centre.

The health service said: "Twelve patients, six male and six female, were admitted at 3:15pm to the accident and emergency department, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea.

"NHS Grampian's public health department are investigating with colleagues from the environmental health department of Aberdeen City Council. It is believed the incident may be food related. Environmental health officers are visiting the AECC."

The centre holds a range of conferences and sporting and music events. Its main arena can cater for 8,500 people standing or 4,700 seated.

It also has a hall capable of holding 2,000 people, two 700-seat multi-purpose suites, a 440-seat auditorium and conference and meeting rooms.




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